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BS: Sad day in Maine: last sardine plant in US

pdq 14 Apr 10 - 08:52 PM
catspaw49 14 Apr 10 - 08:55 PM
pdq 14 Apr 10 - 08:58 PM
LadyJean 14 Apr 10 - 09:02 PM
SINSULL 14 Apr 10 - 09:07 PM
kendall 14 Apr 10 - 09:16 PM
Riginslinger 14 Apr 10 - 09:40 PM
kendall 15 Apr 10 - 07:40 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 15 Apr 10 - 08:35 PM
Bat Goddess 15 Apr 10 - 08:58 PM
GUEST,Julia L 15 Apr 10 - 11:06 PM
open mike 15 Apr 10 - 11:29 PM
mousethief 15 Apr 10 - 11:36 PM
GUEST,Janet 16 Apr 10 - 12:16 AM
mousethief 16 Apr 10 - 12:23 AM
gnu 16 Apr 10 - 05:57 AM
kendall 16 Apr 10 - 07:38 AM
Charley Noble 16 Apr 10 - 09:36 AM
Becca72 16 Apr 10 - 10:11 AM
Riginslinger 16 Apr 10 - 10:34 AM
Becca72 16 Apr 10 - 11:05 AM
Riginslinger 16 Apr 10 - 11:10 AM
gnu 16 Apr 10 - 01:56 PM
Riginslinger 16 Apr 10 - 02:55 PM
pdq 16 Apr 10 - 03:54 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 16 Apr 10 - 05:33 PM
kendall 16 Apr 10 - 08:33 PM
Charley Noble 16 Apr 10 - 11:18 PM
Mike in Brunswick 17 Apr 10 - 12:01 AM
Mike in Brunswick 17 Apr 10 - 12:03 AM
gnu 17 Apr 10 - 06:08 AM
Cuilionn 17 Apr 10 - 08:37 AM
GUEST,999 17 Apr 10 - 09:22 AM
gnu 21 Apr 10 - 05:38 PM
Ed T 21 Apr 10 - 07:28 PM
gnu 22 Apr 10 - 02:32 PM
Naemanson 23 Apr 10 - 05:03 AM
Gurney 23 Apr 10 - 05:53 AM
gnu 24 Apr 10 - 11:39 AM
Ed T 24 Apr 10 - 12:08 PM
gnu 24 Apr 10 - 01:41 PM
Sandy Mc Lean 24 Apr 10 - 05:29 PM
gnu 24 Apr 10 - 05:53 PM
Tangledwood 24 Apr 10 - 07:48 PM
Gurney 24 Apr 10 - 11:00 PM
gnu 09 Apr 12 - 06:21 PM
gnu 09 Apr 12 - 06:25 PM
gnu 09 Apr 12 - 06:40 PM
kendall 09 Apr 12 - 07:38 PM
Ed T 09 Apr 12 - 07:54 PM
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Subject: BS: Sad day in Maine: last sardine plant
From: pdq
Date: 14 Apr 10 - 08:52 PM

Here is the link, with pictures:

                                              http://www.bangordailynews.com/detail/137081.html


By Bill Trotter
   BDN Staff

GOULDSBORO, Maine — Workers were shocked Wednesday when they were told that the last remaining sardine cannery in the United States would close down for good on April 18, ending more than 100 years of local history.

Bumble Bee Foods, which acquired the former Stinson Seafood plant in 2004, made the announcement Wednesday afternoon to employees at the facility in the village of Prospect Harbor. With the closure, 128 people are expected to lose their jobs.

"It's devastating, for lack of a better term," Dana Rice, the town's first selectman, said about the news. "It's like somebody died."

Melody Kimmel, a spokesperson for the San Diego-based Bumble Bee Foods, confirmed the announcement Wednesday. Kimmel said a reduction in the federal limit on herring was the main reason behind the company's decision.

In 2004, the federal limit on Atlantic herring was 180,000 metric tons, but this year it is only 91,000 metric tons, she said. With such catch restrictions, the plant is no longer economically viable, she said.

"Where it stands now keeps us from production levels that would ensure the plant's long-term viability," Kimmel said.

Workers who are losing their jobs are expected to receive severance pay and job placement counseling from Bumble Bee, according to Kimmel.

The plant has been operating in Prospect Harbor for more than 100 years, Kimmel said. She said there are other seafood processing plants in the country that can herring — which are called sardines after being processed and canned — but that this facility is the last one in the country that deals solely in sardines.

"It's been a very difficult decision," Kimmel said of the closure. "We're caught between a rock and a hard place."

Kimmel said that, as a result of an anti-trust case brought against Bumble Bee predecessor Connors Bros., which bought the plant in 2001, Bumble Bee inherited a consent decree with the state that required the company to keep the plant open through the end of 2010. She said that, given the state of the herring quota, the company was asking for a waiver from that agreement.

Despite concerns about the reduced herring quota and the overall state of the economy, workers at the plant and residents said they were surprised by the news, which is the second significant closure of a local employer in the past decade. In 2002, after it had been announced years before, the Navy closed a base in Gouldsboro and at nearby Schoodic Point where at one point 1,000 military personnel and their families were stationed and where more than 100 civilian employees had jobs.

Workers outside the plant late Wednesday afternoon said the announcement hit hard when Bumble Bee officials broke the news to employees. Some were reduced to tears, they said.

"It's bad," said cutting room employee Crecenciano Herrera, 39 of Milbridge, who added he's worked at the plant for four years. "In this area, there's not much else [for work]."

 Reinaldo Perez-Chamarro, 35, of Gouldsboro, who spoke little English, was visibly upset by the news. A six-year veteran of the cannery, he held up a piece of paper from Bumble Bee that said the company may have other positions available at plants in California, Puerto Rico and New Jersey. He said he didn't want to move.

"I have two babies, payment on car, payment on house," Perez-Chamarro said.

Eric Deacon, 31, of the village of Corea, said he took a full-time job at the plant about a year ago so he could get away from seasonal work. He said he doesn't have a family to support, but that many employees at the plant come from families with parents and grandparents who worked at the plant before they did.

"Everyone's extremely worried about their finances," Deacon said. "I'm very concerned with finding another job. It's definitely going to damage the area [economically]."

Rice, the town's first selectman, said that the eventual closing of the plant was inevitable, given the current economy and the slow disappearance of the once-common sight of sardine canneries in Maine and elsewhere. But he said the news Wednesday still came as a shock.

"I thought I was better prepared for it," he said, sitting in front of the television in the den of his home. "Generations of people have worked there. It's been there for more than 100 years."

It's not just the employees at the plant whose finances will be affected, according to Rice. Several businesses on the Schoodic Peninsula counted daily on plant employees to be their customers. For the town, the plant closure likely means a loss of about $125,000 in annual property tax revenue, he said.

"It's going to have a huge impact on all these things that make up a community," Rice said.

A lobster dealer by trade, Rice said that the reduction of the annual herring quota by the New England Fishery Management Council surely deserves much of the blame for the plant's demise. But even if federal regulators reversed their decision, as they recently did with a proposed tightening of scallop restrictions, it would be too late to save the plant.

"There are no other sardine companies to buy it," Rice said. "It is the end of the sardine canning industry in the United States."

Gov. John Baldacci and U.S. Sen. Olympia Snowe released separate statements Wednesday saying they would work to provide state and federal assistance to the laid-off workers. Snowe said she had received assurances from Bumble Bee last fall that the company planned to keep the cannery open.

"This sudden reversal of that commitment without any advance notice or effort to work with us to help steer this situation toward a more favorable outcome is inexcusable," Snowe said in the statement.


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Subject: RE: BS: Sad day in Maine: last sardine plant
From: catspaw49
Date: 14 Apr 10 - 08:55 PM

I didn't know they grew on plants to begin with.......

Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: Sad day in Maine: last sardine plant
From: pdq
Date: 14 Apr 10 - 08:58 PM

There may also be a bit of a debate about the name Bumble Bee tuna.


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Subject: RE: BS: Sad day in Maine: last sardine plant
From: LadyJean
Date: 14 Apr 10 - 09:02 PM

My dad was a POW in WWII, in Germany. He told me about one very good friend, who gave him a whole can of sardines because, "He said he didn't like sardines." Dad loved them. He'd be sorry to see the plant go.


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Subject: RE: BS: Sad day in Maine: last sardine plant
From: SINSULL
Date: 14 Apr 10 - 09:07 PM

"sudden reversal"????
Where the hell has Olympia Snowe been for the past few months. I heard the plant was closing back in February.
It was covered on Public Radio.

"No more fish, no fisherman."


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Subject: RE: BS: Sad day in Maine: last sardine plant
From: kendall
Date: 14 Apr 10 - 09:16 PM

I worked in one of those hell holes as a teen ager for 60 cents an hour. I still hate to see this come to pass.


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Subject: RE: BS: Sad day in Maine: last sardine plant
From: Riginslinger
Date: 14 Apr 10 - 09:40 PM

It's just one more indication: There are just too many people.


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Subject: RE: BS: Sad day in Maine: last sardine plant
From: kendall
Date: 15 Apr 10 - 07:40 PM

And that, my friend, is the root of all this earth's problems.


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Subject: RE: BS: Sad day in Maine: last sardine plant
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 15 Apr 10 - 08:35 PM

Anyone you know eat sardines?


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Subject: RE: BS: Sad day in Maine: last sardine plant
From: Bat Goddess
Date: 15 Apr 10 - 08:58 PM

I eat sardines. Nice in an antipasto, nice on buttered bread. Like 'em with saltines, too. Mashed with cream cheese and horseradish they make a great dip.

There's some in my pantry right now.

Linn


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Subject: RE: BS: Sad day in Maine: last sardine plant
From: GUEST,Julia L
Date: 15 Apr 10 - 11:06 PM

"Oh, what'll we do with the herrings heads?"


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Subject: RE: BS: Sad day in Maine: last sardine plant
From: open mike
Date: 15 Apr 10 - 11:29 PM

i like them! I like them on crackers! I like them on toast!
I eat them for dinner, instead of a roast!

the ones i have here are in tomato sauce..
sometimes i get them in mustard..
these are called california girl and have a surfer on the label
they are a product of china

too bad...can't they use the equipment to process some other
type of food, oysters, clams, even tuna/??


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Subject: RE: BS: Sad day in Maine: last sardine plant
From: mousethief
Date: 15 Apr 10 - 11:36 PM

They make it sound like the government just decided on a whim to set a certain level of harvest. The idea that the fishery is depleted doesn't make it onto the map.


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Subject: RE: BS: Sad day in Maine: last sardine plant
From: GUEST,Janet
Date: 16 Apr 10 - 12:16 AM

No! I am sorry this is happening. I eat sardines, though only a few times a year. I like them in spicy peppery sauce and in mustard sauce.


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Subject: RE: BS: Sad day in Maine: last sardine plant
From: mousethief
Date: 16 Apr 10 - 12:23 AM

It reminds me of the song "Aragon Mill" as sung by Bok Trickett & Muir. A sad song about a former milliner (sp?) lamenting the loss of the town mill, formerly the town's chief source of employment. I think it's by Si Kahn.


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Subject: RE: BS: Sad day in Maine: last sardine plant
From: gnu
Date: 16 Apr 10 - 05:57 AM

That's a cryin shame!

Just next door.


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Subject: RE: BS: Sad day in Maine: last sardine plant
From: kendall
Date: 16 Apr 10 - 07:38 AM

This all started back in the early 60's when huge Russian mid water trawls swept the seas clean of everything that swam.
The real problem is, we have gotten to be too efficient in our methods. Nothing can escape.Our own bottom draggers have polished the bottom and also swept that clean.
As POGO said, "We have met the enemy, and he is us."


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Subject: RE: BS: Sad day in Maine: last sardine plant
From: Charley Noble
Date: 16 Apr 10 - 09:36 AM

There is continuing discussion that the sardine plant be converted for canning lobster and other sea food products. Maine was a pioneer in canning lobster way back in the 19th century.

No one has said this yet but when it comes to canning, Prospect Harbor's slogan should be "Yes, we can!"

Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: BS: Sad day in Maine: last sardine plant
From: Becca72
Date: 16 Apr 10 - 10:11 AM

While you couldn't pay me enough to eat a sardine, it's still sad that all these people are losing their jobs in an area where not much else is available. Hopefully the conversion of the plant will go through.


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Subject: RE: BS: Sad day in Maine: last sardine plant
From: Riginslinger
Date: 16 Apr 10 - 10:34 AM

What's wrong with sardines?


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Subject: RE: BS: Sad day in Maine: last sardine plant
From: Becca72
Date: 16 Apr 10 - 11:05 AM

If you are addressing that question to me, I didn't say there was anything wrong with them; I personally find them disgusting - your mileage may vary.


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Subject: RE: BS: Sad day in Maine: last sardine plant
From: Riginslinger
Date: 16 Apr 10 - 11:10 AM

I could contain my driving to the freeway, but there aren't a lot of sardines out there.


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Subject: RE: BS: Sad day in Maine: last sardine plant
From: gnu
Date: 16 Apr 10 - 01:56 PM

I picked up a half dozen tins on sale about 6 months ago. Grabbed them. Only the tin on top was packed in oil. The the others were packed in water and they suck in comparison. And they were fairly large... never seen em that big... oh well, just three cans left to choke down now.


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Subject: RE: BS: Sad day in Maine: last sardine plant
From: Riginslinger
Date: 16 Apr 10 - 02:55 PM

I've noticed sardines are getting bigger. The ones from Norway are much more like sardines used to be.


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Subject: RE: BS: Sad day in Maine: last sardine plant
From: pdq
Date: 16 Apr 10 - 03:54 PM

Here is some more good reading about...                                                   

                                                                the late great sardine industry


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Subject: RE: BS: Sad day in Maine: last sardine plant
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 16 Apr 10 - 05:33 PM

Some canneries left in Alaska. Time to relocate.


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Subject: RE: BS: Sad day in Maine: last sardine plant
From: kendall
Date: 16 Apr 10 - 08:33 PM

Actually most of our sardines are and have been Herring. The real sardine is a Pilchard, not a herring.
I prefer canned mackeral filets anyway. No bones or skin.


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Subject: RE: BS: Sad day in Maine: last sardine plant
From: Charley Noble
Date: 16 Apr 10 - 11:18 PM

Love them bones. Just crunch them up and blow them out your nostrils!

I actually prefer the ones that are packed in water rather than oil but I do prefer the little ones that you get from Oscar rather than the Bumblebee whales.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: BS: Sad day in Maine: last sardine plant
From: Mike in Brunswick
Date: 17 Apr 10 - 12:01 AM

Perhaps a happy ending here

Mike


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Subject: RE: BS: Sad day in Maine: last sardine plant
From: Mike in Brunswick
Date: 17 Apr 10 - 12:03 AM

Let's try that again

Mike


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Subject: RE: BS: Sad day in Maine: last sardine plant
From: gnu
Date: 17 Apr 10 - 06:08 AM

Hmmm... sounds like deals behind closed doors with the government involved.

Happens a lot up here. A plant/business "has" to close, thereby reducing the payroll and pension burden on the owner. Government steps in and makes a deal with a buyer for payouts and or tax relief to save jobs and everyone (the rich ones) benefits from the deal.


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Subject: RE: BS: Sad day in Maine: last sardine plant
From: Cuilionn
Date: 17 Apr 10 - 08:37 AM

Maine poet and Instigator of Sundry Artistic Outrageousness, Gary Lawless, grew up in a sardine-canning town and has been working on a series of public events to commemorate and celebrate this important element of Maine's history and culture.

He's been seeking out songs and poems from "sardine cultures" around the world, many of which are featured on a blog called, "Sardine Songs, Herring Hymns" Anyone else have any sardine songs/poems to share?

Hmmm... thinking I should post this above the line, too.

--Cuilionn


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Subject: RE: BS: Sad day in Maine: last sardine plant
From: GUEST,999
Date: 17 Apr 10 - 09:22 AM

Times we would have starved when I was a kid were it not for sardines. I recall them being about ten cents a can and there were about 16 sardines in it. They`re even better when you had bread or toast to put em on. Butter with that was a luxury. I still like them (and kippers).

I hope the workers are treated well, but I ain`t gonna hold my breath.


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Subject: RE: BS: Sad day in Maine: last sardine plant
From: gnu
Date: 21 Apr 10 - 05:38 PM

Yesterday, I bought a dozen tins of Millionaires at Costco for $10. I was rather surprised at the new "logo"... "From the East Coast."
Used to be, "The fish she is very small." Not politically correct or maybe the fish she is not as small as they used to be? I shall know soon.


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Subject: RE: BS: Sad day in Maine: last sardine plant
From: Ed T
Date: 21 Apr 10 - 07:28 PM

A great source of healthy and beneficial fish oils...I like'em..and Eat the Brunswick brand weekly.


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Subject: RE: BS: Sad day in Maine: last sardine plant
From: gnu
Date: 22 Apr 10 - 02:32 PM

Alas, Kippered (now it says Kipper) Snacks are no longer on my healthy diet list. And Smoked Oysters.

When I was working on the road, we used to get out the black rum and indulge in these delights while telling stories. Back then, it was a common custom in many hotels in Atlantic Canada to prop the door open and allow vistors and visit others. I dare say that practice would not be prudent, and, I expect, would be frowned upon, these days.


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Subject: RE: BS: Sad day in Maine: last sardine plant
From: Naemanson
Date: 23 Apr 10 - 05:03 AM

My dad sent me a copy of the article with the note attached saying that civilization has now ended. Can't disagree...


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Subject: RE: BS: Sad day in Maine: last sardine plant
From: Gurney
Date: 23 Apr 10 - 05:53 AM

As Riginslinger said up there, too many people.

You cannot trust commercial fishermen to fish sustainably. Their job is to catch fish, not conserve them, and they will deplete a resource and still keep fishing it as long as better-and-better methods make it possible. When the resource collapses, they will, if they can, move to another fishery, which is probably already being fished. With similar results.
Nowadays, fishermen cross the largest oceans to fill a ship with fish. They fish Antarctic waters for the fish they have renamed the Chilean Sea Bass, the deepest water for Orange Roughy. Fish that our fathers never heard of. Because the fish they HAD heard of, are gone.


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Subject: RE: BS: Sad day in Maine: last sardine plant
From: gnu
Date: 24 Apr 10 - 11:39 AM

Just inhale one of the "packed in oil" tins I got last week. Deeeelicious... but I forgot to turn the tin upside down and shake it shake it first. Coats the top sides with oil.

My old man used to love em on soda crakers.


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Subject: RE: BS: Sad day in Maine: last sardine plant
From: Ed T
Date: 24 Apr 10 - 12:08 PM

"You cannot trust commercial fishermen to fish sustainably"

Especially the crporate fleet, and the government folks who enable their operation.


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Subject: RE: BS: Sad day in Maine: last sardine plant
From: gnu
Date: 24 Apr 10 - 01:41 PM

Ed T... these guys put on a "good front".... see above for link...

Subject: RE: BS: Sad day in Maine: last sardine plant
From: gnu - PM
Date: 16 Apr 10 - 05:57 AM

That's a cryin shame!

Just next door.


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Subject: ADD: Seven Spanish Trawlers
From: Sandy Mc Lean
Date: 24 Apr 10 - 05:29 PM

This song from Newfieland explains it!


SEVEN SPANISH TRAWLERS
(Squeezin' Steve Searle)

He looked down into his cod trap 'n' said,
My God, where have they gone?
He threw his arms up in despair,
For his cod trap it held none.
Then he looked out o'er the raging foam just in time to see,
Seven Spanish trawlers headin' out to open sea.

There were seven Spanish trawlers,
They were fishing in the sun;
The Spanish they caught all the fish,
The Newfies they got none.
Then the clouds appeared, and the fog rolled in,
The sun no longer shone;
And seven Spanish trawlers took all the codfish home.

Then Ol' Brian sent a letter off,
To Frazier in Ottawa:
You fellows better do something,
When they're breaking our fishing law.
Then the government quickly they dispatched,
The good Canadian patrol;
They boarded the Spanish trawlers,
And took them back to port.

There were seven Spanish trawlers,
They were fishing in the sun;
The Spanish they caught all the fish,
The Newfies they got none.
Then the clouds appeared, and the fog rolled in,
The sun no longer shone;
And seven Spanish trawlers took all the codfish home.


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Subject: RE: BS: Sad day in Maine: last sardine plant
From: gnu
Date: 24 Apr 10 - 05:53 PM

Portuguese would be hard to scan, I suppose, and throw the song too.

I recall a story about some Newfs in small boats shootin at them Portuguese factory ships with 303s just before the Cod Wars and the 200 mile limit declaration. Got some kinda balls them Newfs.


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Subject: RE: BS: Sad day in Maine: last sardine plant
From: Tangledwood
Date: 24 Apr 10 - 07:48 PM

"You cannot trust commercial fishermen to fish sustainably"

Especially the crporate fleet, and the government folks who enable their operation.


There's a TV documentary series running here about Scottish trawlers.
In the last episode we were taken on board a prawn trawler. The prawns were proving elusive but in the search tons of fish were being unintentionally caught. Under EU law because the vessel was a prawn trawler it was only allowed to take a certain quantity of fish. Once that was exceeded any additional fish had to be thrown back in, even though they were now dead.


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Subject: RE: BS: Sad day in Maine: last sardine plant
From: Gurney
Date: 24 Apr 10 - 11:00 PM

Tanglewood, prawn trawlers may be the death of the oceans. They use very fine-mesh nets, and everything they catch dies. Baby fish, weed, sponges, everything. They leave a desert behind them, with nothing to effect a recovery. Ask eastern Australians.
I've been told that British waters are now trawled with EU-approved nets, finer than the British-approved ones. Is this true?


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Subject: RE: BS: Sad day in Maine: last sardine plant
From: gnu
Date: 09 Apr 12 - 06:21 PM

Last sardine processing plant in the world.


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Subject: RE: BS: Sad day in Maine: last sardine plant
From: gnu
Date: 09 Apr 12 - 06:25 PM

No, no, no... the last one in NA. Sorry!


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Subject: RE: BS: Sad day in Maine: last sardine plant
From: gnu
Date: 09 Apr 12 - 06:40 PM

It's the largest in the world. Got that mixed up.


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Subject: RE: BS: Sad day in Maine: last sardine plant
From: kendall
Date: 09 Apr 12 - 07:38 PM

Back in the 60s I was in the Fish& Wildlife service and I spent a lot of time on the piers of different Maine towns. Many fishermen hung out there and talked about the problems of the fishing business.

I overheard one grumpy old goat saying to another, "Now that that f*****G Kennedy has decided that the niggers are as good as us, we will never sell another Maine sardine."

The real problem of course was over fishing. When the Soviet fleets came to the gulf of Maine with their huge factory ships and trawlers that were designed to take everything in sight, including spawning Herring, that was the beginning of the end.
Then came the Spanish pair trawlers with nets so big it took two of them to drag them.


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Subject: RE: BS: Sad day in Maine: last sardine plant
From: Ed T
Date: 09 Apr 12 - 07:54 PM

People often blame foreign overfishing - and frequently overlook overfishing and distructive, and unsustainable, historic fishing practices at home.


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